"To inspire and motivate young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work"
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Border Counties

Pramerica/Prudential Virtual Exchange FinTech Programme


25 Transition year students from Errigal College, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal recently worked alongside 20 students from Fairchild Wheeler High School, Bridgeport, Connecticut to undertake a project guided by business mentors from Pramerica Systems Ireland and Prudential Financial USA. The students were set the project objective of  'designing a financial app’. Expectations were high as students were tasked with completing Competitor Analysis, a Marketing Plan, designing Innovative Technology (with detailed features and benefits), self-assess their progress and, of course, work as a team with their American counterparts.

There were eight teams consisting of five students each - a mix of a few students from either side of the pond. The students quickly learned that international collaboration can have its challenges, your team members are not only thousands of miles away but a time zone apart – communication takes work and needs to be clear and concise.

Each team had to present their app at the project closing event to a judging panel made up of Pramerica Systems Ireland and Prudential Financial staff. The event was closed with traditional entertainment, including a fantastic rendition of Riverdance (courtesy of Errigal College students).

Thank you to Pramerica Systems Ireland and Prudential Financial USA for enabling this wonderful opportunity for international collaboration.

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Kingspan Inspire Local Students for over a Decade

Nigel Ann Group Shot 1Ann Daly and Nigel Mc Givney pictured with students from Drumgossett National School

For over ten years Kingspan have inspired and motivated thousands of students in the Monaghan, Cavan and Louth region to be the best that they can be while introducing them to numerous career possibilities in areas such as; business and enterprise, science, technology, engineering and maths.

In the 2016/17 school year, Kingspan released 13 business volunteers stemming from various career backgrounds including; Management, Design Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Logistics, R&D, Finance and Marketing to name a few. Each of the volunteers delivered a structured JA programme, which promotes work readiness, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and the value of studying STEM.                                                       

Nigel CPRNigel McGivney demonstrates CPR to studentsReflecting on their experience of delivering JA programmes, Kingspan business volunteers Ann Daly and Nigel McGivney, said “We have been delivering JAI programmes for a number of years and it truly is a rewarding experience to be able to play a part in inspiring young minds. This year we decided to deliver Junior Achievement's science initiative ‘Our Universe’ to two schools; Drumgossett N.S. and Bunscoil, Carrickmacross. By introducing science at an early stage its more likely students will choose this subject at second level and beyond, as it really was an excellent way of opening the students’ minds to the vast choice of exciting career paths and opportunities that science has to offer, and doing so in a fun and hands-on way.”

Following Dawn Thompson’s time in the class, Marie Meehan, TY Coordinator, St. Louis Secondary School, Dundalk said “Dawn was inspirational, it was great to hear a female Chemical Engineer talking about her career path and how it led her to her current job in Kingspan. It opened a huge interest within the students about STEM subjects and possible careers in the future. Dawn is always welcome back to our school.”

Mairéad Mohan, JAI Programme Coordinator for the Border Region explains “By utilising the experience of those already in the workforce, JAI help children of all ages to fully understand the important role that education will play in shaping their futures. Each of our volunteers are fully trained to deliver hands-on learning experiences that empower students to make connections between what they learn in school and how it can be applied to the real world. We are extremely grateful to Kingspan for their continuous support and special thanks to our 2016/17 business volunteers; Ann Daly, Nigel Mc Givney, Noreen Farrelly, Christine Greene, Mary O’Brien, Emily Daly, Christina Mooney, Samantha Rushe, Shane Thornton, Karen Connolly, Caolan Doyle, Dawn Thompson and Ciara Maddock.”

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Drogheda Students Explore Cities

Louth Co CoStudents from St. Paul's S.N.S., Drogheda build a city!

Louth County Council volunteer Elaine Daly visited Ms. O’Brien’s third class in St. Paul's S.N.S., Drogheda to deliver the Core Media supported ‘Our City’ programme.

Over the course of five weeks Elaine taught the students all about the various jobs found within a city or urban area, starting with the role of a Town Planner. She explained to the students how Councils use special zones to conduct their planning function. The students then made an impressive attempt to map out their own city and constructed paper buildings, making the important decisions on which zone would be best to place them. They also learned the importance of business and enterprise to the economy and role-played the job of an entrepreneur by planning their own restaurant business in which they created very persuasive advertising campaigns. In the final class the students became aware of the importance of banks in a city and the various functions they carry out.

Following the completion of the five week programme one student commented: “Elaine taught us that when we are older, we can choose any job we want. We also got to pretend we were business people and learned how to set up our very own business. We got to make decisions on how we were going to advertise it and we also learned how banks keep our money safe and they lend businesses money to make their business better.”

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Inspiring Young Minds – Junior Achievement celebrates 20 years of success in the Louth Region

 Louth Breakfast Morning 2Stephen Kenny with Chloe Durnin O’Brien, Justine Carroll, Oisin Coleman and Tadhg Dowdall from Scoil Mhuire na nGael National School

Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) was joined by Louth businesses, teachers, students and special guest Stephen Kenny, Manager, Dundalk FC to celebrate 20 years of industry-education partnerships in Louth, kindly hosted by Prometric.

The morning event focused on JAI’s mission to inspire and motivate primary and second level students to maximize their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work.

IMG 3084Stephen Kenny presenting to guestsSpecial guest Stephen Kenny, Dundalk FC commented on how “JA programmes instil a drive and determination in students, assisting them in maximising their potential and being the best they can be. This is something I am extremely passionate about and I am delighted to celebrate Junior Achievement’s 20th anniversary and recognise the important work they are doing in the Louth area.”

Speaking from an educational perspective, Audrey Flood, TY Coordinator, O’Fiaich College stated that, “JA programmes are an essential learning experience for the students in O’Fiaich College by "inspiring young minds". They establish an essential link for our school with local businesses and provide our students with an opportunity to hear first-hand about the world of work and entrepreneurship. The programmes reinforce the work we are doing in the school and help to equip the students with the skills they need going forward into further education and employment, including financial literacy skills, entrepreneurial skills, decision making skills, communication skills etc. The programmes are age appropriate for the different year groups and hold the attention of the leaners because of their interactive nature. Junior Achievement opens the student's minds to innovative ways of thinking and encourages them to consider career options from a young age by planting the seed of achievement, attainment, and progression.”

IMG 3104Students from Scoil Mhuire na nGael National School share their experience with the guestsThe breakfast briefing attendees experienced first-hand the learning impacts of a JA programme as 5th class students, Chloe Durnin O’Brien, Justine Carroll, Oisin Coleman and Tadhg Dowdall (all aged 11) from Scoil Mhuire na nGael National School shared their experience of the 'Our World' programme, which was delivered by business volunteer Amy Clinton from Prometric.  The students demonstrated their newly-acquired knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They shared their learnings on how technology and communications are critical growth areas in the global marketplace and they demonstrated their knowledge of entrepreneurship and global trade connections.

Hosting the event, Brendan Gallagher, Director, Prometric provided a business perspective of why Prometric are involved in JAI, “In terms of staff development, JAI is a fantastic mechanism for our organisation’s training and development goals as not only are the students left feeling inspired and motivated to achieve their full potential, it also enhances the skill-set of our workforce, from presentation skills to time management and teamwork to name a few. It is certainly a rewarding and fulfilling experience for our team and something Prometric is proud to be a part of.”

Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said “We at Junior Achievement Ireland truly appreciate the generosity of business leaders in the Louth Region in enabling almost 1500 students to participate in JA programmes and events during the 2016/17 school year”. In highlighting why JA programmes are so impactful, she said: “research shows us that helping young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school and to take maximum advantage of the opportunity that education offers.

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A Morning to Remember at Donegal County Library

Donegal Co Co County Library visit Senior Infant students from St. Patricks N.S. LetterkenyStudents from St. Patrick’s N.S. Letterkenny in Donegal County Library

Ms. Gardiner and her senior infants class had a morning to remember when they left their classroom and came to visit The Donegal Library in Letterkenny. Mary Elliott and Noelle Sandilands were there to greet them and explain how the library works. Mary read a JA story about the importance of saving money, then the children did activities to reinforce what they had learned from the story. Noelle posed some riddles to the students and read a lovely story about a little boy and his dragon. The class then spend some time choosing books and had plenty of questions for Mary & Noelle. 

Senior Infants class teacher Ms. Gardiner said "It was a fantastic morning filled with learning and fun. I'm sure the library will have a many more members after today's visit. We are so grateful to Mary and Noelle for inviting us in and making today so memorable. We love being part of the programme."

Donegal Co Co County Library visit Mary Elliott Noelle Sandilands Teacher Ms. Gardiner with her Snr InfantsDonegal County Library volunteers Mary Elliott & Noelle Sandilands with Ms. Gardiner and her class

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